Oakmont cruises past Montgomery into NorCal second round

Gill scores 38 points in Viking victory
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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The game felt like a mismatch from the outset, and except for the fact that Oakmont went into cruise control for portions of the night, it was just that. Montgomery High’s boys basketball team came to Roseville from its home in Santa Rosa Tuesday for a first round game in the CIF State Division II Boys Basketball Championships and went home a 69-54 loser and the game was not even that close. The Vikings exploited a significant size advantage in the paint right from the start, going inside to Tony Gill often as the 6-foot-8 post player scored 13 in the first period. Montgomery hoped to have a player in the paint to match Gill, but even before 6-9 center Ben Freeland picked up two fouls in the game’s first minute, he was not able to check the Oakmont big man. “If we force people to defend us, teams can not match up with us,” said Oakmont coach Rick Campbell. “Sometimes we get silly and go away from our strength, but when we do what we do, we are very good.” Oakmont controlled the scoreboard in the initial stanza, leading 24-11 after one, and the Vikings also owned the backboards with 11 total and six offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone. Six points and six boards from Gill and a defensive effort that help Montgomery to just eight points in the period allowed Oakmont to open up a 21-point margin at intermission. Oakmont was able to throw the ball into the post almost at will, and Montgomery was helpless to deny the entry pass. Point guard Fred Mobley was outstanding on the defensive perimeter, and did a nice job directing the offense when he was content to stay within the system. His sensational athletic ability gives Oakmont so many options as he can get in the lane to create his own shot and also create opportunities for his teammates. “As Freddy goes, we go,” Campbell said. “When he realizes that it is not always about how many points he scores, we are at our best. Tonight, they had no answer for Tony and we just needed to keep going to him. He is a great player and he will give it up when it’s not there.” Montgomery (22-8) made a couple of runs in the second half, but they only served to pull it within a margin of less than 20 points. By midway through the second stanza, the No. 11 seed in Northern California portion of the Division II field was really not in the game despite its best efforts Alec Kobre led the way for Montgomery with 16 points. On a team that gives significant minutes to just one senior, Kobre is one of many juniors who set the pace for this squad. Freeland, also a junior, scored 14 points and senior Justin Connell added 12 points. Gill scored 19 in each half for an impressive 38-point night. The senior ripped down 13 rebounds and blocked two shots. Mobley was the other Viking in double figures with 13 points. He also had six boards and four steals. Cholo Serrano got the surprise start for Oakmont and pitched in with a pair of 3-pointers, while J.T. Adenrele was his usual dominant self on the defensive end, while pulling down five rebounds for the Vikings. Oakmont (23-7), the sixth NorCal seed, now advances to take on No. 3 Redwood of Larkspur (29-2), the champions of the North Coast Section. The Giants had the first round bye, and will host the second round matchup at 7 p.m.Thursday. Oakmont’s win, combined with Tuesday night wins by Rocklin and Fairfield give the Sac-Joaquin Section four of the final eight teams in the D-II NorCal field. Rocklin, Oakmont and Woodcreek, who had a first round bye, give the Sierra Foothill League three teams in that mix.